The odd feeling again. So strange. A kind of erasure. A kind of forgetting.
He checked his twitter and there it was again. He was in a hurry and that storm was supposed to hit soon according to the app on his smart phone. He had posted his walk path and now his check in at the place for a quick lunch. He had taken 10 pics of his sushi and 4 after edits in those apps had been keepers and were sure to get comments on Instagram like a mold growing in a petri dish. He had put up on you tube 3 videos of his walk and some cool buildings he passed and a cloud. He made a vine of the wacky man in the park too and it was up now. He had tweeted along the way his thoughts on his new shoes and that crazy celebrity story. He at lunch and at the last few blocks posted a few choice zingers on Facebook and chuckled at that one pun he made. The yelp review he just made had those best sushi pics and he really felt he nailed the essence of what makes a good wasabi in just the right amount of words. He had podcasted about his tea and a quick sort of interview with a waiter. He had calculated his calories and posted it in those 4 groups to share.
He was puzzled and asked Siri a series of questions hoping to nail the answer to no avail. He Googled and posted a yahoo question just out of frustration. He got no results. He paid and left to walk back to work and the sky had begun to darken. The tiny cloud had grown to a thunderstorm ahead of the cold front still an hour to the west (the weather channel on the go app clearly showed this…he checked). The thunderstorm however was not predicted, was not previously charted or graphed or shown as data. It also had grown too large to photograph, just a grid space of city and slate gray. It didn’t matter the angle. His twitter had not gained any reshares or comments, the pain was almost a physical , tangible, visceral ache.
He would have paused to think about this more but he had too much going on, too much to check, new check ins ahead (a few minutes late..he did not care), those things to like and scroll to keep up his networks so they would like back. He also was now in a downpour, the raindrops like eggs cracking on impact, thunder rolling through the streets, a wind blowing warm in waves like algorithms, like waveforms, like data analysis patterns of activity on a posted article. The city began to shrink in around him as curtains of rain and lowering cloud came seemingly from 3 sides. He rushed now but had to beat his last time and path to get that online trophy. He did not know that the storm was becoming severe as his app was down and he had to run and get an umbrella (forgot the other one at work as he had timed that cold front perfectly online). He found a shop that sold umbrellas, so antiquated, the old man even expected cash or credit cards. The storm had opened up its astronautic belly of lakes of water. The rains flooded the streets into faux rivers bordered by cement and concrete as trash cans bobbed along like the toy boats of his childhood (he did not make this connection..was busy trying to text someone about a new game app ).
The storm lasted 15 minutes then cleared. The cold front was still far off, glistening like a kind of digital lava on the doppler radar on his phone, shimmering on the tiny satellite loop he clicked next, belly fully of data, numbers, grid points, gps overlay options. He left the shop and went back to work unaware that he had erased himself and the nagging pain was the ghost of experiences and touch and wonder , open spaces and even the shriveled corpse of boredom and wasted time.
There was a kind of graveyard filling that suit, but in his walk home in the crowds he was legion.